The Aristocrats is an instrumental supergroup consisting of guitarist Guthrie Govan (Steven Wilson, Asia/GPS), bassist Bryan Beller (Joe Satriani, Dethklok) and drummer Marco Minnemann (Steven Wilson, Joe Satriani). The trio recorded their third studio album, Tres Caballeros, at the infamous Sunset Sound studios in Hollywood, where Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones and Van Halen previously made music. You can view our review of the LP below.
Spazzy blues riffs acts as the central theme for “Stupid 7” while wild percussion and additional guitar jangles provide a more experimental and heavy aspect respectively. The playful build-up of “Jack’s Back” begs for an edge-of-your-seat listen showcasing a very fluid combination of all three musicians. As with most of the track titles, “Texas Crazypants” is indeed fitting due to the overblown country-swing excess. Govan and Minnemann’s work with Steven Wilson truly shines through with a wall of sound production style and progressive rock approach on “ZZ Top.” The sensual reverb liberally dolled out on “Pig’s Day Off” layers on top of shimmering, choppy guitar bits.
The Western motif laced through the record continues on “Smuggler’s Corridor, ” concluding with an a cappella chant of epic proportions. “Pressure Relief,” a 70’s/80’s fusion, saunters about an alluring jingle that acts as a central core for the composition. “The Kentucky Meat Shower” takes you down South for a no holds barred shred-off. The 11-minute closer, “Through The Flower” is notable for the schizophrenic pacing as gentle strumming transitions to thudding bass lines and on to a cohesive climax end.
Similar to their previous release, Culture Clash, this album revolves around a theme of absolute diversity within experimentation. Characteristics of blues, jazz, prog, and hard rock are blended together to form a chunky musical prowess puree. It may not always be easy to swallow, but damn does it have a good aftertaste. The Aristocrats’ Tres Caballeros exceeds high expectations established from three of the most talented, underrated, and unpredictable musicians.
You can purchase The Aristocrats’ ‘Tres Caballeros’ by clicking here